HELENA — A well-known Helena sight is looking its best again, thanks to a group of Helena Middle School students.
13 kids, from the Student Council and Montana Adventures Club, hiked up Mount Helena Wednesday morning, along with about eight adults and 50 cans of spray paint. The group set to work repairing and repainting the rock “H” on the side of the hill.
“So that the ‘H’ is always in Helena, like it should be,” said eighth-grader Henry Sund.
Teacher Cassie Koch says they’ve noticed the H has frequently been altered or vandalized in recent years, and it falls to city open lands staff to get it in better shape. She contacted the city of Helena’s Parks, Recreation and Open Lands Department to see if students could help out.
“It was definitely anyone who wanted to come up here and just make it better for the community,” said Adella Harris, an eighth-grader.
Many of the rocks that make up the H have tumbled down the hill over time, so students carried them up to make the letter wider and more even. Then, they painted the whole letter white to make it more visible. Helena Open Lands provided the spray paint.
“It was hard work, but it was worth it,” said eighth-grader James Fox.
Of course, with so many middle schoolers together, it wasn’t all serious.
“There was a lot of laughs; it was a lot of fun,” Adella said.
The Student Council and other clubs have been meeting remotely this year, so this was one of their first chances to get out and work on a project together.
“We’ve been online all year, and it’s just nice to be able to do something and be able to help out,” said James.
The students achieved their goal. After they finished their work, the H was clearly visible from several miles away, including for drivers coming into town on Prospect Avenue.
“I’m pretty proud,” James said. “It went well.”
“It’s a lot more visible now, and I think it looked really good,” said Adella. “We were pretty proud of ourselves.”